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Peter Hannaford’s article on the futility of the President’s tax reform panel makes the case for what he calls a “flat tax.” That allows opponents to raise the hoary old issue of the rich not paying their fair share — a real concern even under the existing complicated tax system. (I am still trying to understand how Mrs. Heinz-Kerry paid only 15% tax on her reported plutocrat’s income.)
However, the tax proposal that Mr. Hannaford favors is not “flat.” It has two rates — 0% below some limit and 17% above. The important point is that the “flat” tax proposal is simple, not that it is flat. The advantage lies in the elimination of all those complex tax provisions aimed at social engineering, not in the elimination of so-called progressivity in tax rates.p>A practical approach to build wide support might be to focus on a “simple” tax instead of a “flat” tax, continuing with the several levels of tax rates as in the current scheme. Allow individuals the choice of continuing to be taxed according to the current code for, say, the next ten years (to protect those who have allowed themselves to be socially engineered) or of switching to the new “simple” tax. br> — Gavin Longmuir br> Stanley, New Mexico /p>
As a far into middle age semi-professional, and a student of both American history and current events, I can honestly say that no matter whom I speak to about the federal income tax code, that person, love it or hate it, is forced to admit that a flat tax system, almost ANY flat tax system, is easier, fairer, and more effective than that which we now have. Those who want to tinker with the present system always use the excuse that it would be “impossible” to drop what we have and switch to another system. Those who believe that our present system is grossly unfair usually surrender to the “impossible” argument.p>I think that there are too many gored oxen, too much bubbling graft, and too many people paying nothing for the system to be changed. If you think that we are on the way to becoming a welfare state, then think again! We are one! If you don’t believe me, look at the statistics on who pays federal income tax, how much they pay, and how it is collected. Look at the enforcement arm of the IRS. Look at the filing forms. If you can lift it, look at the book of tax law. A second term president might be able to get the ball rolling, but I don’ t suppose that it will happen in my lifetime. Above all, take a good look at the Federal Budget. Welfare, Schmelfare, we are as socialistic as any of our European friends. We are just in clinical denial. A flat tax would be a giant step away from this situation.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?